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Dusting off the Cobwebs (Valentine Tanks): Dive report 18/04/10 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 25 April 2010 13:46

As the winter months were finally over it was time to dust off all the dive gear cobwebs and get back in the water. Although the start of the dive season is no surprise to anyone it is incredible how many divers don’t prepare their kit for the forthcoming season….well, erm… perhaps I should say its incredible how I don’t prepare MY kit for the forthcoming season!

A quick check of my dive kit the day before discovered two latex wrist seals that were harder than steel and titanium combined and 2 leaky regs. Hmmm, I thought….this could make my first dive with Calshot Sub-Aqua Club a little bit tricky to say the least!

After an easy drive to the top secret boat location and (by my standards anyway) relatively faff free boat preparations, Helen, Ralph, Steve and myself set off to Poole Harbour to dive the Valentine Tanks. “Why are they called the Valentine Tanks?” and even more confusingly – “why are tanks in 15m of seawater in the first place?” are questions I just can’t answer but they are tanks and diveable so that’s fine by me.

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 April 2010 16:47
Bank Holiday on the Betsy Anna - 31-08-2009 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 11:50

It has been a while since I have enjoyed a dive on the Betsy Anna quite as much. We were not too hopeful as the previous week had provided gale force winds which would surely stir up the bottom and reduce visibility to a mere few metres. After a 45 minute run out of Swanage the sun was out as we rolled off the side of the boat and disappeared from the surface. About 10 metres from the bottom I began to focus on the sea bed below, which was surely a good sign. The sunshine was reflecting off the light coloured bottom and illuminating large shoals of Whiting. I had to remind myself that this was not a tropical dive, just Christchurch Bay in August. Once comfortable we swam towards the boilers which were home to a number of lobsters and conger eels. After a full inspection we eased towards the stern of the vessel and past the exposed prop shaft. More large shoals of Whiting parted and revealed the partly intact stern section with many large pouting swimming through the ribs of the ship. I followed a large anchor chain away from the wreck and sat on the sea bed gazing back at the grey silhouette of the stern which rose up a around 3 metres above the sea bed. With plenty air remaining there was still time to inspect the bow section before ascending close to where we began the dive, on the boilers. The best dive I have done on the Betsy Anna for sometime, made even better by the sunshine and great visibility.

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 September 2009 20:35
Black Hawk (Bow) & Nature Trail - 19-04-2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ralph Quinn   
Monday, 20 April 2009 21:50

Another weekend and we're hoping for something better than the murk the week before. This week we go west in search of some visibility. The target is the bow of the Black Hawk in the rather scenic Worbarrow Bay, Dorset.

We put the club RIB into the water at Kimmeridge just a few miles to the east. It was quite interesting to watch the various degrees of seamanship on show at the slip; some of the more interesting examples were "we've never launched a boat before, you go first and we'll watch how it's done" (I'll bet that those guys are still in Weymouth with their vodka running dangerously low!) to the explosive launch technique which I can explain on demand but will probably decline a demonstration.

If you read last week's report, you'll know that our echo sounder/fish finder is a tad unreliable at present so we were once more relying on our patent pending Pooley Nav. How did it go this time?

War Knight - 13-04-2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ralph Quinn   
Monday, 13 April 2009 18:14

Well, this is going to be particularly short. The day was lovely, blue skies, calm seas, warm weather, everything going well. Off we went to Freshwater Bay just around the corner from the Needles on the Isle of Wight. Just before the bay is the wreck of the War Knight.

Despite the echo sounder / fish wreck finder being on the blink, Dr. Pooley decided he can find the wreck from memorised transits. He makes 2 passes then orders the shot to be chucked over the side.

Myself and Adrian kit up and jump over the side. Off we go down the shot and guess what?? It's on the boilers!! The ol' Pooley nav is spot on! The bad news......

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 April 2009 22:31
Vobster Quay - 01-03-2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ralph Quinn   
Monday, 02 March 2009 23:34

Two of the club's divers head off to Vobster Quay for an early(ish) season splash.

7:30am on a Sunday is early at the best of times, but if you stay up 'til 2ish preping your new twinset for its first splash, it's especially early. Anyway, off we go to Somerset.

With perfect overwater navigation, Vobster is found and a lower car parking space is secured (phew). A quick coffee was taken before getting everything together. It was amazing how many people were walking around and jumping in the water with wetsuits on. The water was measuring in at 6 degrees, wearing a wetsuit must be painful for anything over a couple of minutes!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2009 23:04
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